When I first heard of a place in California named Santa Cruz, I really thought people were talking about a Christmas event on a boat on the ocean, or possibly on a river, a lake, or an estuary. It turns out that it isn’t a littoral Santa Cruise, a cruise where you sit on Santa’s knee and tell him what you want for Christmas, but rather it’s a place where seafood and ambition go to die.
Whenever I text anyone that I am in Santa Cruz, I always type it Santa 🎅🏿 Cruz, because I am usually inclined to accept the iPhone autosuggest that accompanies the word Santa, and black Santa is always the cool one. #blacksanta
Am I blessed to live here? It is like living on vacation 365 days a year, except for the crazies and the homeless, the high cost of living, and the overwhelming lack of social motivation. Minimum wage is the same as maximum wage, but at least I have marketable skills. I thank my parents for preaching the value of a salient university education when I was young and thought $22,500 a year was a big salary.
It was an egregiously poor life choice to move here, but I think I would probably make it again, even with hindsight. Poor life choices are like that, the insanity of making the same mistakes over and over again. The drug addled homeless hollering outside our apartment ends at 4am, which is about the same time the garbage and recycling trucks start their diurnal cacophony of refuse collection. The City of Santa Cruz specified high noisiness as an essential criteria when they went to tender for their garbage delivery vehicles. L’nuit de grand poubelle.
However, I am starting to understand why artists spend time in places like SC; the weirdness is kind of inspirational. “You met your dad?! Until I was ten, I thought my mom had married a picture frame!” It is a Jack Kerouac experience waiting to be novelized.